This entirely unique and extraordinary fabric took us a year to develop with master weaver and incredible woman, Rabbit Goody, at Thistle Hill Weavers in Cherry Valley, NY. Weaving since her teen years, Rabbit, our namesake, is a much sought-after textile historian and magician with early power looms. Fascinated and intrigued by the transition from hand weaving to powered technology, Rabbit has built a mill specializing in the use of Crompton & Knowles looms that date between the 1890’s and the 1960’s. There are less than a handful of mills running these looms and no American companies remain that produce textile equipment.
Thistle Hill Weavers
For over 26 years Thistle Hill Weavers have been producing ingrain carpet, special Jacquard’s, damask, venetian carpet, dimities, gossamer drapery, worsted camblet, baize, and woven coverlets. Rabbit Goody’s vast repertoire is possible, in part, because of her ability to make the looms do things they were never designed to do because they are mechanical rather than electronic making it possible to fabricate new machine parts and change them when necessary, giving the designers she works with unheard of flexibility.
For the Rabbit Jacket, we developed a double weave based on a French upholstery technique that gave us the ability to create a durable, denim-like exterior while simultaneously creating a bottom layer with a more open weave structure to allow the silk and wool to bloom into a soft, sweater like interior.
When we were dreaming about what FOUR could be, we fantasized about a collection of clothing that we would keep, repair and pass down to the next generation. Tired of the endless stream of fast fashion we were craving a kind of sustainability that would endure not only from a material perspective but from a kind of design that was imbued with a timeless modernism that had form and functionality at it’s core.
Our inaugural garment for permanent collection, 4.1 th Rabbit Jacket, is inspired by the traditional Japanese hanten and the ritual of exchange between work and home that it embodies. As new mothers and professional working women, we felt this transitional garment that works both inside and outside the home in casual and formal scenarios, is a perfect debut. The hanten first became popular during the Edo period, especially worn by common folk in the late 18th century. Unlike other similar coat styles like the haori, the hanten wasn’t restricted to the upper classes or a particular gender. The hanten could be worn by anyone for any number of occasions both in and outside the home. Thanks to it’s durable, lightweight design, it provided both warmth and breathability, making the hanten an all season garment. Traditionally worn while studying, cooking, gardening, attending festivals or running errands, the extreme versatility has made the Hanten jacket a staple of the Japanese wardrobe even today.
4.1 The Rabbit Jacket
Continuing in this tradition, the Rabbit Jacket has an elegant shape with a generous fit for layering and side slits for pant pocket access. Feel like going out without a bag? The oversized pockets fit all your necessities with a clean look, while 3/4 sleeves stay out of your way. The Rabbit Jacket is made of a luxuriously durable, hand-woven fabric which will maintain its shape and classic look without extra care. When a wash is in order it should be washed gently in cold water and hung to dry.